Symptoms of Cholera, its Causes, And Treatment
Cholera is one of the most prevalent diseases in India and appears on our tables in various forms. Unlike many diseases, cholera has its special seasons, too well known to need any indication here.
The symptoms of cholera are so numerous and severe that it requires no small degree of medical skill and experience to study the disease under all circumstances properly.
Cholera begins with pain or cramp in the stomach, accompanied by vomiting. At first, the contents ejected consist only of mucus; but afterward, watery stuff also comes away from the bowels. This vomiting continues until nature can find nothing left to boot; when all food is expelled from the stomach, vomiting will go on even then.
The treatment of cholera is a problematic matter–a tough one indeed. In ordinary cases, whatever relief can be obtained from opium is generally all that the patient requires; but in fatal cases, no medicine whatever will do any good. However, in mild cases, half a grain of opium may prove productive. At first, it should be given in large doses, and afterward, it gradually diminishes as the patient gets better.
If the bowels are much confined, give two or three grains of calomel mixed with a bit of rhubarb. A slight emetic may sometimes afford considerable relief by removing the bile, which produces this disorder. But no medicine can be relied on to ensure safety. In severe cases, however, a little brandy and water will often do good; but the patient should beware of taking too much during the attack, or he may at once extinguish his life.
The symptoms of cholera are very great exhaustion and a loss of strength in the lower extremities. He cannot stand on his feet. He cannot move from one place to another unless supported by others, and sometimes he cannot even sit up without assistance. Coldness of the surface, with cold, clammy sweat, either upon the forehead or from other parts, as well as general prostration, mark the progress of this disorder.
It is generally full enough when there is no actual want of appetite, but it isn’t easy to evacuate. The patient complains of great thirst and frequently drinks quantities of water without being the better for it.
Vomiting of bile frequently occurs, although there is generally vomiting of mucus at first; this continues until the stomach becomes quite empty. When all food has been expelled from the stomach, vomiting will go on, although nothing comes up.
causes of cholera:
1) poor personal hygiene while handling food. It contains a special kind of bacteria called Vibrios. If the hand is infected with this bacterium and touches food consumed directly, it results in cholera.
2) inadequate sanitation.- Lack of adequate disposal of human excreta can cause drinking water contaminated by the cholera bacterium.
3) Eating raw or insufficiently cooked seafood.- As it is one of the most effective ways to spread cholera, eating raw or insufficiently cooked fish can cause cholera.
4) Consuming food and drink that has been contaminated with human feces.- Cholera is contracted by consuming infected water or food, mainly shellfish.
5) Traveling to an endemic area.- Travelling to an endemic area where cholera is present can also result in infection. Such places are primarily near sea coasts because the Vibrio Cholerae bacterium that causes cholera is transmitted through contaminated seafood and water.
6) Hepatitis B is a viral infection that affects the liver. Hepatitis B can spread through an infected individual’s blood, semen, or other bodily fluids. It usually applies when contaminated needles used for hormone injections, acupuncture, or tattooing pierce the skin of an uninfected person. This type of hepatitis can cause jaundice and even liver failure, sometimes resulting in death.
7) Hepatitis C – It is also a viral infection that affects the liver and causes inflammation. In most cases, this virus has been transmitted from one person to another through blood transfusion, although sexual transmission is possible too. Living with an infected person increases the risk of getting hepatitis C.
8) Infection from a bite – If an untreated cut or wound becomes infected with a disease, it can cause cholera. It is usually found in people near the areas where the bacteria reside. The worst case of this type of infection happens when the affected person uses their mouth to clean out other people’s wounds without washing their hands beforehand and those personal sharing items such as razors and toothbrushes with infected people.
9) Sexual transmission – Although rare, sexual transmission can happen even if no symptoms are present before intercourse. During sex, various body fluids like blood and pre-ejaculate may come into contact with your partner’s bare genitals and spread the virus if any open sores are present. This virus can be applied even if the condom was used since the skin of both men and women may be infected with it.
10) Blood transfusion – Cholera is not transmitted through blood transfusions, but there have been cases wherein people who already carry the disease received contaminated blood during their operations or other procedures.
Cholera mode of transmission:
There are three ways cholera can be transmitted from one person to another. These include the following:
this is the most common cause of cholera as it happens when contaminated water enters a person’s digestive tract. This may occur because your water supply is damaged or due to a lack of clean drinking water in your area. Contaminated food and beverages caused by poor sanitation were the reason for up to 90% of the reported cases in the past two decades.
If you have been infected with cholera, vomiting will happen anytime six hours after ingestion until five days later. The condition mixes all acidic gastric contents with what you have just eaten. Suppose the water you have just vomited is not disposed of properly. In that case, this can cause disease transmission to one’s nearby environment through droplets containing cholera bacteria present in the expelled matter.
The disease is a significant health problem in developing countries. Cholera is one of the oldest – if not – the most geriatric recorded waterborne bacterial diseases. Its development has been traced back to as early as 1749, when people near an estuary of a bay in India described seeing something believed to be cholera-infected rice cakes float along the shoreline. Other reports about this deadly diarrheal illness were discovered after several cases throughout Europe and North America from 1817 until 1823, starting from Spain and spreading from there towards other parts of Europe.
A person can contract cholera by ingesting food or beverages contaminated with Vibrio cholera bacterium present in feces or vomit. In other words, cholera is a waterborne infection caused by Vibrio cholera. This bacterium can be found in water and shellfish, particularly those living in brackish waters, where they feed on plankton and other organic materials floating around them.
In some cases, the disease could also come from having contact with an infected person’s stool or vomit that contains millions of cholera vibrios released into your environment through bodily waste.
Such a deadly pathogen tends to spread rapidly inside a household if no proper sanitation is done. If this is not checked in time, symptoms will likely develop within 24 hours after you have been in contact with its source of origin or you have ingested contaminated food or water.
Cholera symptoms among children manifest faster because their tiny bodies are more sensitive to the disease’s effects, especially when it comes to dehydration. Adults will also likely suffer from the same symptoms if the cholera vibrios make their way to your body through exposure to its pathogenic bacteria. There are five different forms of cholera symptoms that may occur depending on which part of your digestive system got infected first by these deadly vibrio germs.
1) Watery diarrhea:
This is one of the common signs showing that you have contracted a cholera infection. It happens within six hours after ingestion until five days later—the condition up all acidic gastric contents together with what you have just eaten. Suppose the water you have just vomited is not disposed of properly. In that case, this can cause disease transmission to one’s nearby environment through droplets containing cholera bacteria present in the expelled matter.
if you have been infected with cholera, vomiting will happen anytime between six hours after ingestion until five days later. The condition mixes all acidic gastric contents with what you have just eaten. Suppose the water you have just vomited is not disposed of properly. In that case, this can cause disease transmission to one’s nearby environment through droplets containing cholera bacteria present in the expelled matter.
3) Rapid dehydration:
This happens within hours or days after contraction. It can quickly lead to death if it is not treated right away in time.
4) Re-hydration symptoms:
Within 12 hours or more after you have stopped vomiting, changes in skin color and eyes will start to manifest as a sign of the body’s attempt to re-absorb salts and other electrolytes lost during diarrhea and vomiting. For this reason, patients should be vigilant all the time so they can drink fresh water frequently enough for their bodies to recover.
5) Lethargy :
You will feel lethargic because of dehydration due to the rapid depletion of fluids from your body.